On The Road

On The Road
Dutch Star and Subaru ready to go

Sunday, December 7, 2014

We did our annual Christmas picture today.... the pups actually sat with reindeer antlers on them so the picture could be taken.

Hope everyone's Christmas is a great one and their New Years even better.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Well, it looks like we'll have to get a new awning when we get back home.  Although Mexicans can sometimes work miracles repairing things, our awning was just too broken to save.  I hope Camping World or other RV stores have a sale on when we get back to Texas.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Not much has been happening the last few days. Other than seeing our friends Fred and Sherry for lunch, we just been enjoying the warm weather.

The guys who are trying to fix the awning haven't been around for awhile. Maybe I'll call them tomorrow if they don't show up. The painting crew is scheduled to be here Monday morning to repaint the deep scratches on the side of the motorhome where the awning arm was ripped off. They also said they could probably fix the windshield wiper arm where it broke off.

They had their annual Revolution Day parade in town and the pictures below are not by me.  The pictures of the sunset are however.

      Sunset at Heaven's Gate park, La Penita, Nayarit, Mexico

Monday, November 17, 2014

The temperature has been pretty warm the last few days and we'll be glad when the repair guys will return with our broken awning arm.  We miss the shade it provides.

     If you look closely you can see where the rear arm of the awning is missing

     Diane relaxing with a book

La Penita and area is starting to fill up with bus loads of people coming to the coast to celebrate Mexican Revolution Day, November 20th.  It falls on Thursday, the same day as the weekly market here in town and there's always a big parade celebrating the holiday.

Fresh fruit and veggies are still very reasonable.  We bought a bag with six avocados for 25
pesos and a bag of tangerines for 20 pesos.

      Still life for 45 pesos  

The pups are enjoying the beach although we still have to keep Bonnie on a leash as she wants to run up to everyone whether she knows them or not.  I'll try to bet some pictures of the pups tomorrow at the beach.

     Hayley and Bonnie in motorhome looking out window

     First time at Heaven's Gate for Bonnie

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I've been negligent with my posting for the past few days but we did arrive in La Penita although having a few more misadventures than we usually have.  After leaving Casa Blanca State Park we crossed the Columbia Bridge about 8:00am on Sunday, the time the Mexican Immigration office opens. Although crossing the bridge on a Sunday avoids a crowd of people, but because it's Sunday, there's only one Mexican official working the permit counter.

They now have a large x-ray facility at Columbia where we were directed to go. Diane had to leave the motorhome with the dogs while I drove up and parked on a platform. I then had to get out and was directed to wait behind a concrete wall while the x-ray scanned the motorhome.  No problems but you don't want to be in a hurry.  In all it took us about an hour and a half to get through everything.

South of Saltillo on highway 57 local farmers will have large bags of potatoes for sale along side of the road. We have seen this before on our travels but never stopped to buy any. This this time curiosity got the better of me and I stopped to check them out. There were two sizes of bags with the smallest costing $100 pesos. Although being small the bag weighed about 40 pounds. Nice white potatoes should taste good when we get a chance to cook some. Although we knew we'd never eat them all but knew some people in La Penita that would be happy to have some.

     Potatoes for sale on the side of the road
      Negotiating Potatoe Price
      Sack of potatoes for $100 pesos

We arrived at La Palmas motel/rv park in Mateuala after driving 375 miles at about 4:00pm  After dinner at the motel restaurant we headed for bed. There were two other RVs from Canada in the park but each was hauling a small trail bike behind their coach and we didn't get to meet them.

     Dinner at La Palmas Restaurant

The next day we were off to the Truck Stop south of Lagos de Moreno on Highway 80. We've stopped there each year and found that they raised the price of overnight parking from $70 pesos to $100 pesos. but that included a security guard walking around the parking area all night.  One funny thing happened in the morning when I took the dogs out to go potty. When they were finished and I was taking a plastic bag out of my pocket, the security guard ran up and waived saying "no, no necessisita" "the trucks will drive over it and it will be gone"

The truck stop has a small bbq service and after we had some delicious tacos we headed for bed.

We always seem to have trouble getting on the correct highway south of San Luis Potosi and we did it again somehow getting on the road to Mexico City. Fortunately they have a lot of "Returnos"  and we were able to get back on the right path.

Day three had us heading for Guadalajara where we normally take the by-pass "Periferico" around the city which starts at Tonala.  We approach Guadalajara on highway 80 which is a 8 lane freeway and normally we just watch for the Tonala exit. Well.. they did some construction around the exit and changed the exit sign causing us to miss it. That had us heading to down town Guadalajara which is bad enough in a car let alone a large motorhome.  We got off the freeway at the next exit and saw a traffic police talking to someone he pulled over. We parked behind his motorcycle and waited for him to come back to talk to us. We explained what happened and asked how we could get back to the Tonala exit. With our limited Spanish and his limited English plus looking at maps he finally said to follow him. We would have to turn around but because of our size he first had us follow him to a wider spot in the road. There he stopped traffic for us to make the turn. Shortly after following him through back streets and over the freeway he got us back to where we wanted to be. He stopped and after thanking him I gave him $300 pesos.  He wasn't asking for any money but we felt $300 pesos was definitely worth what he did for us.

It started to rain later in the day and after getting past Guadalajara and driving on highway 15 in the mountains near Compostela, the windshield wiper arm on the passenger side completely broke off. We were on a two lane mountain road and had to drive with the wiper dangling several miles until there was a place to turn off. I had to unbolt the broken wiper arm and drove the rest of the way in the rain with only a wiper on the driver's side.  Fortunately the one that broke was on the passenger side otherwise we'd really have trouble.

We made it to the Pemex just north of La Penita where we had planned to stay for the night as we were meeting Jack, the park owner's father at the park at 9:00am the next morning. Jack came by to tell us he had to do something in the morning but would be a few minutes late.  We disconnected the car and drove over to the park in the morning

 The road off the highway heading to the park is narrow and there's usually a lot of cars parked on the side of the road. On the corner of the highway and the road there were several cars parked on my left and a flat bed truck on the right. As I turned off the highway I knew that it was pretty narrow between the cars and truck but thought I could make it... NOT... the arm of my awning caught the mirror of the truck tearing it off and as well as tearing off the awning arm. The truck owner came out and after seeing the damage told me he'd try to get his mirror fixed but if it wasn't fixable I would have to pay for a new one.  I told him where we would be for several months but still haven't heard from him.

After that whole thing, I continued on to the park where we found the road mostly flooded. A person who lives on the road near the park decided on his own to hire a backhoe to scrape several inches off the road to lower it so the water would drain.  All he did was make it almost impossible to back into the rv park without having to put planks of wood under the tires to raise the motorhome  high enough so that the transmission would not drag going in the entrance. to the park.

While all this was happening another guy showed up saying that after my episode with the truck mirror and awning, I apparently pulled down some electrical cables crossing the street.  Another person told him to just call the electric company and they would re-connect the wires.

The old Dutch Star finished the day  with another 264 miles and has now passed 100,000 miles.  We obviously need some work done on it but we're sure everything will be fixed.

Total cost in tolls for the motorhome and car was 3369 pesos ($247.63 U.S. dollars)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Left Wharton about 8:00am and got to Casa Blanca State Park about 1:30. covering 254 miles.  The temperature for the first few miles was a little cool and we ran into light rain shortly after leaving Wharton.
Nothing much happened on our trip down highway 59 and I filled up with fuel about 50 miles from Laredo. Doing so won't require me to stop at a Pemex early in the day for fuel. With a full tank I can make it to Matehula about 300 miles from the border where we'll spend the night at Las Palmas Motel/RV park.

The pups must have smelled the lake when we drove into Casa Blanca park and as soon as we had set up the motor home they practically dragged us to the lake shore where they enjoyed themselves getting themselves and both of us wet.

We're going to try to get out of here somewhere around 7:30 in the morning as the Mexican Immigration Office doesn't open until 8:00am. If we can do this, hopefully we can be past one of the favorite stretches of highway that the Mexican Transit Police patrol.  The speed limit is 80 KM per hour but the stretch of highway has numerous trucking companies and the speed limit drops to 60 KM for a short stretch on either side of the trucking companies entrances. The Transit Police just sit in a trucking company entrance and wait for people to fly by.

Friday, November 7, 2014

We finally got everything packed and were able to get on the road close to our departure time goal of 9:30.  We chose this time which would let us get to Houston about 10:30 or 11:00 and avoid the early morning traffic.

The weather turned a bit cooler and we're glad we packed sweaters and jackets. The forecast is  cool for the next few days and hopefully it will be warmer after we cross the border on Sunday.

Our normal first day stop is at Wharton, Tx where there's a WalMart with an easy off and on from the highway.  Other businesses are opening close by including a new Motel being built.  In front of the WalMart parking lot there's a strip mall that had several vacancies when we stopped last year but today we found a new and very good Mexican restaurant there.

The Dutch Star is running good and the pups have settled down and seem to be enjoying the trip so far.

Although Wharton is only about 130 miles from home, its a good distance for the first day to make sure we have no problems that would affect the rest of the trip.  Tomorrow should find us at Casa Blanca Texas State Park in Laredo where we'll spend the last night in Texas before crossing the border.

          Are we there yet says Hayley

      This house is rolling says Bonnie

      Bonnie looking out the windshield

      Walmart in Wharton Texas

Friday, August 1, 2014

10 weeks old and Bonnie discovered the toilet paper

Thursday, July 24, 2014

We decided that we would look into getting a new puppy and after searching through AKC for Portuguese Water Dog breeders within 500 miles of Livingston we found one north of Dallas with two eight week old puppies available.
We named her Bonnie and we're presently going through the potty training stage although she's getting the idea that if she goes to the door she'll be taken out to do her business. Having to take her out a couple of times during the night is the hard part.
She'll still have her needle sharp puppy teeth for a couple more months and everyone will be glad when her permanent teeth are in.  Hayley who is tolerating her more and more each day only gets mad at her when Bonnie chomps her tail.
Before we got Bonnie we had planned on taking a trip to Canada this summer but due to Border regulations regarding required Rabies vaccinations we had to cancel our trip plans. Bonnie is too young for her vaccination as pups don't get it until 20 weeks of age. However she will have all her vaccinations by the time we head for Mexico in November.

          Bonnie our new pup
          Hayley and Bonnie

Sunday, March 30, 2014

We recently lost our trip companion Leo, our Portuguese Water Dog to  Hemangiosarcoma, a rapid spreading cancer. We'll always miss him.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We're back at our home base in Livingston, Texas. We had to leave Mexico earlier than planned due to family illness.

Our trip home was uneventful except for heavy fog the when going through the mountains around Monterey. We did however lose the cover to the hot water heater. It must not have been fastened completely and blew off in the wind.

The tolls are getting more expensive and for a class A plus tow vehicle we paid 3,216 pesos from La Penita to the border.

We crossed at Columbia bridge where Diane and the pups were asked to cross the border as a pedestrian while I took the motorhome through the x-ray machine.

Note.. when driving RV up to the border crossing, stay in one of the far right lanes. I was initially in the left lane (for cars) and had to turn around and get in the truck lane. Fortunately it was a light traffic day (Sunday) and the was through everything in about an hour.

With the temperature around the freezing mark together with rain and drizzle we're already looking forward to next year's warm weather in Mexico.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Its been raining here for over a week which puts the damper on just about everything. We did however have a very nice Christmas dinner with the owners of the park including the park owner's parents and a Canadian couple who recently arrived at the park.

Although wet, we went with our friends Fred and Sherry to a New Years Eve dinner at one of the beach restaurants in Guyabitos. Our usual bed time is about 9:00 so 2014 had to arrive without our seeing it as we left the restaurant before midnight.

Although raining again today and it looks like it might rain more tonight, we're hoping the forcast is correct in that it calls for sunny weather soon.